“Get those fi­nal sea­sonal tasks sorted be­fore win­ter,” says Ruth

Fin­ish sea­sonal tasks be­fore win­ter sets in, says Ruth

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

IHAVE spent the past week catch­ing up on out­side jobs be­fore turn­ing my at­ten­tion to the long list of tasks that need sort­ing be­fore Christ­mas. It is so easy to get caught up with fes­tive prepa­ra­tions and ne­glect the needs of the gar­den un­til it is too late.

If any ten­der sum­mer peren­ni­als such as pelargo­ni­ums or gaza­nias are still in the gar­den and have sur­vived the cold so far, lift and over­win­ter them in a green­house or well-lit porch. Cut back the fo­liage and pot them up in John Innes No1, barely wa­ter­ing them at all, and they will hope­fully see out the win­ter.

You can then re­turn them back out­side after the frosts once they have been hard­ened off.

Sum­mer an­nual bed­ding can be re­moved and com­posted, and the used com­post in con­tain­ers that grew sum­mer colour can be added to beds as a mulch – the nu­tri­tional value is min­i­mal, but it will in­su­late plant roots and im­prove the struc­ture of the soil. Most de­cid­u­ous trees will have fin­ished shed­ding their leaves by now, so col­lect the last few and ei­ther add them to the com­post or leaf­mould pile, or bag them up and store them some­where. They will break down into gor­geous loamy leaf­mould over the next cou­ple of years.

Cut back pot­ted dahlias and move them un­der cover Pot up over­win­ter­ing plants in John Innes No1 Lift pelargo­ni­ums be­fore the cold weather kills them off

Col­lect the last fallen leaves

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